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Sunday, September 25, 2016

WASHINGTON — “What if the government starts enforcing the espionage statute whenever there’s a leak?” Steve Roberts, a former New York Times journalist who teaches at George Washington University, observed to The Baltimore Sun. “It’s going to have a tremendously chilling effect on this interplay between sources and reporters.”

But Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) insisted that stopping leaks should be a very high priority. “When national security secrets leak and become public knowledge,” he wrote in a letter to the president, “our people and our national interests are jeopardized. And when our enemies know our secrets, American lives are threatened.”

As it happens, these two quotations are separated by seven years. Roberts was speaking in 2005 about the furor over Dana Priest’s important story in The Washington Post revealing that the CIA had maintained a series of “black sites” abroad where terrorism detainees were interrogated. At the time, Priest came under searing attack from allies of George W. Bush’s administration.

Smith’s letter was to President Obama in 2012. It complained about national security leaks that set off the very investigation which this week prompted fury over the Justice Department’s seizure of two months’ worth of telephone records of a group of Associated Press reporters.

Isn’t it odd that many Republicans who demanded a thorough investigation a year ago are now condemning the Justice Department for doing what they asked for? Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus even called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, saying he had “trampled on the First Amendment.”

It’s a funny thing about media leaks: They are either courageous or outrageous, depending on whether they help or hurt your political party.

Forgive me for feeling cynical and depressed about our nation’s political conversation. Scandalmania is distorting our discussion of three different issues, sweeping them into one big narrative — everything is a “narrative” these days — about the beleaguered second-term presidency of Barack Obama. What’s being buried under a storyline?

On leaks, I don’t believe that the media have unlimited immunity. But I am very pro-leak because such disclosures are often the only way citizens in a free society can find out things they need to know. The Justice Department’s actions in the AP case seem to go way beyond what is justified or necessary. There was no need to ignore guidelines suggesting that news organizations should usually have the chance to negotiate or challenge subpoenas.

  • John Pigg

    Republicans jumping sides on an issue for partisan gain is nothing new. But it is a short term political strategy that hurts its long term objectives.

    • labrown69

      Benghazi is a dog and pony show but the surveillance of the AP is not. This is a big problem. The arrest and indefinite detention of Bradley Manning is Obama’s real legacy. He is every bit as bad as Bush.

      • Lisztman

        “As bad as Bush…” ??? I doubt it.

      • plc97477

        Not even close.

  • I agree with what Rep. Lamar Smith said, the problem is that he directed his suggestion for greater secrecy to the wrong President. One of the criticisms being voiced by Republicans in the House on the Benghazi issue is that not enough information was revealed. The reason for ambiguity or omission should be obvious for anyone who ever held a high security clearance. The GOP has to make up their minds, do they expect the administration to spill the beans and reveal our sources and capabilities, or do they want secrecy? I suggest Mr. Smith have a man to man talk with his colleage, Rep. Issa, who seems determined to help his friends and relatives in the Middle East.

    • Good Morning And You Got That Right!! 🙂 I Believe The American People Have Had Enough All The Hearing Witch Hunting And Looking For The Boogie Men!!!! The GOP/Tea Party Has Done NOTHING For The 98% Of The American People And They Will Pay!! We’re No Way Falling For Their Crap Cause We Know One Thing For Sure THEY ARE THE BOOGIE MEN!!! 🙁

      • cats33

        Your terrorist leader and his lies are FINALLY being caught up with him!!! Told you he was a dictator drunk on power and destroying America. He got caught!!! IMPEACH the traitor!!

        • So what, lana, you’re the dic-taker of National Memo. A old nasty and drunk dic-taker at that.

    • mike

      Nice try Dom. So many unanswered questions that have nothing to do a security clearance. Have you noticed they are not asking why Stevens was meeting the Turkish Amb. in Benghazi and not Tripoli. Could it have to do with the running of weapons thru Turkey for Syrian rebels?

      Even Tom Brokaw in “Morning Joe” is questioning the Obama response to Benghazi. Facts are Facts and sure looks like a major cover up and lies.

      WP had an article in January talking about the data mining of govt. officials phones and emails looking for links with journalist on a systematic bases. Looks like a war on journalist, Obama’s best friends. Didn’t he say at the WH correspondents dinner this month to the journalist in the room with a big smile: “All you voted for me”. The “darling of the press” might have some serious problems down the road.
      Just remember Obama at OSU telling the graduates to ignore those who attack the govt. and say Tyranny is around every corner. Isn’t it ironic that is what he now has to face with both the IRS and AP. He just can’t get it right.

      • Would it have made a difference if Ambassador Stevens had met the Turkish ambassador in Tripoli or Benghazi? Suggesting that the rationale for meeting in Benghazi had something to do with the U.S. government providing weapons to rebel groups in Syria, as Romney suggested, makes absolutely no sense.
        The issue with security clearances is that those who have or had one understand that there are certain things that we are not supposed to disclose in public. Mr. Issa is either unaware of that, or is hoping the administration reveals something that compromises our security to satisfy his demands, and then hangs the administration for doing so.
        Previous administrations refrained from making details public when our diplomatic missions were attacked a dozen times when Bush II ws in office. Why do you suppose they did that, and why do you think Congress did not dig into it. The reason there are questions that remain unanswered in public is because those questions have been answered behind close doors with Senators and Congressmen with a need to know.

      • Lisztman

        Ah. Mike. I’m absolutely certain that now that you’ve voiced your concerns the CIA will, in the future, route all its procedures past your desk for approval before proceeding.

        • mike

          Funny!!! Don’t forget the State department and WH procedures also.

      • All of what you just said are moot issues now with the presentation of the e-mails that showed correspence between the president, Rice, Secretary Cinton, the CIA, and FBI. . . The tyrrany President Obama is facing around every corner is from Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bag home grown domestic terrorists here in America. The AP should be neck deep in investigating neo-Confederate home grown white supremacist militias stock piling military styled weapons in preparation of their so-called “patriotic revolution”. That’ll be a real juicy, sensational story for AP, NPR, and all the rest of the news agencies in America.

        • mike

          All of this under his watch, his people, his problem, his lack of leadership. You still can’t have answer why the talking points left out the truth and why after 2 weeks it was still the video. The new WH emails just added more questions. Some one is going to be thrown under the bus and right now it is the State Department. You still can’t explain why Clinton talked video and not what Hicks told her at 2am on the 9/12.
          And, his best friends “all you voted for me” would be all over it if there was a story of revolution.
          DRIP, DRIP, DRIP,

          • Barring the probability of Rep. Issa’s friends and relatives knowing some of the terrorists that attacked our consulate in Benghazi, all statements regarding motive is pure speculation. Nobody knows for sure who masterminded the attack and why. The only thing we know for sure is that the inflammatory video released the day before resulted in mass demonstrations throughout the Islamic world. Was it the video? A pre-planned attack? Who knows? The bottom line is that the consulate was attacked, destroyed and four people were killed. There is no difference between this tragedy and the attacks against our embassies and consulates when W was in the White House. There is a difference, however, between 9/11 and the attacks against our diplomatic missions and it is not limited to the fact that 9/11/01 took place on U.S. soil and that over 3,000 people were killed. President Bush was warned, repeatedly, during the daily security briefings given by the NSA and CIA of an impending attack on U.S. soil. He did absolutely nothing to prepare the nation. I don’t blame him for it, if nothing else because the warnings lacked specificity as to who, when and where, but I would have felt a lot better if he had at least let us know that something bad was likely to happen and asked us to be vigilant. He didn’t. Republicans are desperately trying to establish a parallel linking the worst terrorist attack in history to Benghazi. It is not going to work, most American are rational people capable of doing basic math, determining geography, and finding more logical comparisons. The only thing the GOP has achieved with this series of attacks is stop governance and efforts to improve our standard of living, further stimulate the economy, create more jobs, and strengthen our national security. Al Qaeda could not have done a better job.

          • mike

            Now Dom you are at it again, playing with the truth. The video was released July 2012 not the day before. You claim no one knew who did it, you seem to have forgotten the Libyan President told the US immediately who the attackers were, and since we already knew the leader name, you misled again.
            It was a preplanned attack which very few disagree with except you.
            What plans did Clinton do, he was aware of the Bin laden back in the late 90’s, knew all the same things Bush was given and yet nothing set up

          • ralphkr

            Both Dom and you, mike, are correct. The video in English was posted in 2012 with very few people ever viewing it (I imagine those people watching it were the ones appearing in it) but in Sept 2013 the video had Arabic dubbed and was shown on TV in Arabic speaking countries sparking demonstrations.

            I remember the first reports (not on US media) came from Benghazi itself with locals reporting that the attack seemed very disorganized. Consider that they attacked the back gate while ignoring Ambassador Stevens and the Turkish Ambassador OUTSIDE the front gate (they could not only have killed an agent of the great Satan but also an agent of the wrong kind of Muslim). There was even an interview with one of the attackers in which he stated that they had not planned to attack that day but changed plans after watching the attack on the US Embassy in Egypt on TV.

            To point out how confused the first US media reports were one only has to consider that one of the first reports was that our people were killed while in a car (by RPG was suggested) on the way to the ‘safe house’ after the security guards told the attackers where the ‘safe house’ was. Now we know that the CIA ‘safe house’ was in the building referred to as the Consulate.

          • You’re correct ralph. That vidoe had been floating around the Internet for a year before it showed up in Egypt. The first protest of it was in Egypt before it spread throughout the region. It was a smoke screen to cover a bonafide attack on that consulate which killed a number of service people and the four diplomats. Those murderers need to be found and made to pay for what they did, and these Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags are not helping. They are dishonoring those deaths while the real murderers are walking around in Libya laughing at what is going on in America. It’s disgraceful!

          • Nobody is making excuses, they’re going from reports just like you. While we were all comfortable behind our wide screen t.v.’s or computer screens looking at all the same things, Americans were being attacked in that consulate. You’re sitting your sorry ass at that computer making conjectures and hyperbole from the same information we’re all getting it from, but in your mental illness you’re twisting the whole story to fit your cotton mouth white supremacist ideology. One thing is certain about all you’ve said about Benghazi or any of these issues: YOU WEREN’T THERE! President Obama wasn’t there. Susan Rice wasn’t there. Hillary Clinton wasn’t there. None of those stupid Republicunts/neo-Confederate Tea Bags weren’t there either. That imbecile Issa is an Arab and probably a Muslim himself, but guess what? HE WASN’T THERE EITHER! You were in your house watching television or on your computer sucking up the news while drinking a cold beer while Stevens and the rest of the Americans over there were being killed. Atleast honor their lives.

          • mike

            Conjectures and hyperbole, now that’s funny. Show me the conjectures and the hyperbole. Show me, fat ass.

            I have never said anything to dishonor Stevens name you douche bag.

            You are the ones dishonoring these wonderful Americans killed and wounded. Why you don’t want to know the truth is disgraceful. To white wash the events to fit a political position is unacceptable. Hell, Tom Brokaw, said it needs to be investigated on Morning Joe.

            Just remember Obama went campaigning the next morning knowing his Ambassador was murdered. We can see what his priorities were.

          • You must be looking at your mother’s fat ass, you hillbily faggot. Everytime you make up something about Benghazi, you and all the rest of those jackass Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags, you dishonor the lives that were lost in that attack, you coward pussy. You point blame where there is none instead of pointing the blame at those who attacked that consulate. You’re helping the real murders get away while you spewed a lot of punk assed conspiracy theories at your own president. If you were in front me, I’d vomit in your ugly face, you sorry anti-American home grown terrorist. You’re a traitor to your country, bitch. A sad-sack home grown domestic terrorist.

          • mike

            My God, if your remarks weren’t so sad they would be funny in a nutty way. You are delusional.
            The President lied about a video. Do the American people have a right to know why a lie about the video was used for 2 weeks after the attack when it was so untrue from the first day. Why the CIA memo was changed 11 times just to fit a political agenda. How high up the chain of command were these changes approved.
            Talk about dishonoring the dead, have Obama explain where were all the assets of the 6th fleet were that night. The 6th fleet has always protected the Med. If the 6th had been there the MEU”S could have saved the lives of these wonderful servants. Hell 2011, when f-15 went down in Libya immediately the 26th MEU was in full rescue operation.
            In 2012, for the first time since WW11 there was just one lone ship in the Mediterranean protecting the Med. . A unarmed command ship, not one MEU’s assigned to the Med..
            Both the British and American consulates were attacked in June and the Brits left, why not the Americans???

            “helped the real murders—“, Obama has known from day one, Abu Khattala, was behind it and you would think he would have used one of the drones on him. Hell he was interviewed by a reporter in a open cafe after the attack but Obama admin. couldn’t find him. Libyan President even ID him as the ringleader.
            Save your theatrics my little garbage mouth.
            Concern yourself with the fact you love a liar, and incompetent leader.
            Obama/Benghazi is a lesson of probity writ small or large.

          • Sand_Cat

            Well at least you sign your notes well: DRIP. No repetition necessary

          • mike

            Oh My God!!! You forgot the First and Middle names also: DRIP DRIP. I think Dip Shit works well for you!!!

            Still on the catnip I see!!!!

      • elw

        The real issue about data mining is not whether or not it is being done now, because it has been used by both Democratic and Republican Administrations over the last few decades. The real issues is – should it be used at all and under what circumstances. Be careful what can of worm you open up, because if our current President is guilty – so will all the other be who filled that position in recent decades. You cannot have it both ways.

        • mike

          Kucinich said ” finds Obama inconsistent since he signed in 2009 a memo to top govt. executives encouraging more transparency”. He went on to say we got “just the opposite”.

          • That is why he never came close to winning the nomination. Suggesting that a President – any president – should be aware of the actions of every civil servant is ludicrous, and most senior members of Congress understand that. When a civil servant (s) does something wrong, the logical response is to ascertain whether or not his actions were deliberate and, if yes, discipline the person (s).
            Are you guys trying to compare this to Iran-Contra? Iraq? Give me a break! If this is the best the GOP can do, I would say the Dems will come out of this smelling like a rose.

          • cats33

            The dems are going to come out of this smelling like a pile of shit. They are terrorists and are in deep do do

          • Sand_Cat

            The only thing that stinks around here is you.

          • mike

            I doubt the smelling of roses is the outcome.

            Yes, he can’t see all and hear all, but those around should be keeping him informed. To me it is a lack of leadership.

            So you want me to believe he was never told of the total rewrite of the CIA first memo. He was never told what was removed by his staff. Really, if that is the case what kind of leader is he. Oh, that’s right a distant leader. Never involved!!!!

            I never said anything about Iran-Contra-keep dancing you might find something else to distract with.

            Obama lacks conviction, effectiveness, of leadership. His credibility diminishes a little each crisis.

          • Yeah, unlike George the Second and his trusty sidekick, DICK.

          • elw

            Everything is relative. We do not live in a black and white world. I am sure there is much that is hidden from us, I am also pretty sure that each President is stuck to a certain degree with the policies and actions that the last President put it place. Change is slow in this Country because of its size and complication. Democracy is messy.

          • mike

            I never said wasn’t messy!!! I am sure some things are hidden from us and that is OK. “President is stuck _ _ _ _ “, he won’t be the first or the last to have to live with past events.

            His kind of change scares the hell out of me. If nothing more, AP and IRS scandals should make every citizen wary of too big a govt..

          • elw

            Except, of course, none of the scandals are turning out to really being scandals, unless you only watch and listen to FOXNews. I am much more wary of big business and I have worked in both big business and in government.

          • mike

            Get off this Fox crap. People with any common sense, and reasonable thinking knows that there are some serious problems with the Obama administration. Keep living in your dream world.

          • elw

            Mike you are intitled to your opinion, but it is wrong. Just because you want to make everything a serious problem does not make it so. In addition, clearly most Americans feel much as I do, unless you are trying to forget that President Obama won reelection just a short five months ago and still retains his 53/54% approval rating inspite of all of the GOP’s false scandals. You guys are beating the same drum you did during Clintons second term – it did not work then and it will not work now. You need a really scandal if you want to impeach a President not one based on misinformation and half truths. But you and your minions would not even begin to know what that is.

      • Sand_Cat

        Nice try, mike. Isn’t it your guys who want to run weapons to Syria? At least the ones who aren’t calling for us to bomb Syria, and Iran, and – sooner or later – just about every nation on the globe that’s ever mildly disagreed with us?

        Nice that you’re concerned about abuses of executive power against the press and other agencies. We all know you Repubs would never stand for that sort of hanky-panky!

        • mike

          Looks like your guy is spineless as usual, Syria crossed the line Obama adlibbed in a speech and now looks as weak as ever.

          You are too naïve to understand that any abuses like these are unacceptable no matter who has done it.

          it is called abuse of Power, it is against every American. Not right, Not left, Everyone.

          It is Tyranny!!!!

          Actually, Stevens was working with Libyan groups on where surface to air missiles and other weaponry from Gaddafi arsenal were located. Also, the CIA at the annex were monitoring and collecting information on this weaponry. Where do you suppose they were going??? Duh!!! Syria through Turkey.

          How’s the catnip? I see it is still clouding your brain.

          • Were you so quick to call the abuse of power card when DICK Cheney outed a covert operative, endangering countless undercover agents, and undermining the CIA?

            That wasn’t just an abuse of power.

            It was outright TREASON.

          • mike

            If you are referring to the Plamegate. Go look at her history in the CIA and learn something. “CIA confirmed she was NOC, she was talented and highly intelligent, but decried the fact that her career featured largely US-Based Headquarters service, typical of most CIA officers”. Her overseas tours were to Athens, and Brussels and spent most of the time getting her masters from London school economics and college of Europe. She was far from a major operative.

            It was Novak that revealed her name not Cheney. I am sure you have the proof it was Cheney. By the way the Wilson sued Cheney and the case was thrown out twice(07,08), what, the Obama DOJ said they had no legitimate grounds to sue in(09).
            You can detract from the real world but IRS, AP abuse of power by the fed. govt. much bigger and will have greater consequences.
            DRIP. DRIP. DRIP. What time is Obama’s tee time? He continues to so disengaged and it is catching up with him.
            He’s so cool, so cool he doesn’t need to be involved in leadership.

    • elw

      I agree 100%

  • charleo1

    Perhaps a little perspective would help deflate some of the hot political
    air being injected into all three tea pot, tempests. What do we suppose
    a headhunter, and the king of hot air, and political puffery, Darrell Issa, would
    be saying, if it was found that someone in the Obama Administration, most
    likely the office of Vice President Joe Biden. Or Biden himself, had revealed
    the identity of a covert CIA agent, as pay back, over an op-ed piece, written
    by the agent’s husband. An article that contradicted what the Obama Adm.
    was saying, as part of their case for taking the Country to war? That sound
    you just heard, was Darrell Issa’s head exploding! Then, when ask about,
    what appeared to be a traitorous act. President Obama said, if there are
    leaks in my administration, I want to know who it is, and I’ll, “take care of them.”
    However, he never launches a White House investigation. Even though the law requires that he do so. That was Issa’s other head exploding. And then,
    when the extensive, investigation by a special prosecutor appointed by
    Congress, finally produces one culprit, and a Federal Judge sends him to jail,
    Obama commutes his sentence. “Sad news from Capital Hill today. Darrell
    Issa, the three headed Congressman from CA. Had his third, and final head,
    explode unexpectedly today.” So really, what do we suppose the now indignant, sanctimonious, shorts on fire, Republicans would be doing today? The same
    thing they are doing now. Just minutes after the possible misconduct of some
    IRS agents came to light. Mitch McConnell, rushed to the floor of the Senate,
    and demanded the President stop stonewalling, and cooperate with the
    investigation!

    • suddencall

      Voting republican is not a right , it is a bad mistake , any way you look at it.

      • Allan Richardson

        Fortunately, we all have a right to be stupid and do stupid things.
        Unfortunately, when too many of us exercise that right in the same direction at the same time, even those of us who were NOT stupid suffer.

        • labrown69

          Yea, you would be missing out on 5 years of fraudulent foreclosures without a single prosecution, Monsanto running the US government, the arrest and indefinite detention of whistle blowing heroes like Bradley Manning, the NDAA and lots of other great stuff while babbling about Republicans.

          • charleo1

            Bradley Manning is a lot of things. But, whistle blowing
            hero, is not one of them. First, and foremost, he was derelict in his assigned duty, to the U.S. Military. Of which he was a member. Releasing sensitive, and confidential material to a third party. And, showing complete disregard for the lives of his fellow soldiers, and other possibly, covert operatives, and allies, in harm’s way. And we know this because, at his rank, Manning would not have had the knowledge to distinguish if the information he was dumping, would help the enemy on the battlefield. Or, bring to light, plans, and objectives, months, or years in the making. As for as babbling about Republicans. That’s in effect what Manning was doing. Babbling about, and revealing, the incompetence of the Bush Administration, to prosecute the Iraq war. But, do you know why we continue to babble about Republicans? Because they don’t seem to have any ability to remember back any further than Barack Obama’s first day as President. And, we’re just trying to be helpful.

          • They’re running a bit short on “heroes”, charleo1. I can’t believe that moron called Bradley Manning a—- well, Republicunt/neo-Confederate Tea Bags are traitors too, so to them he is a “hero”. My bad.

          • labrown69

            I can see why you would hate Manning. He blew the whistle on American troops firing on unarmed journalists. He made the arch error to morons like you … he told the truth!

          • What truth did he tell, labrat? By clandestinely passing classified information of a confidential nature to people who would expose and jeopardize the lives of people who are protecting your freedoms in America? Your stupidity astounds me, you stupid fucking moron!

          • labrown69

            You are as bad as the murderers he outed. If you don’t object to your country becoming a serial killer than you should maintain your position. You are too stupid to identify stupidity. Long live Wiki-Leaks and long live the truth and transparency.

          • You ought to turn in your green card, traitor, and go back to wherever the enemies of America sent you. America doesn’t need sleepers like you in our midsts. The AP should be investigating traitors like you, mike, lana ward, bozo the clown. You’re a labrat engineered by the enemies of America, a snake whose head should be crushed by the heel of America.

          • labrown69

            Your yeast infection is showing. So there is something unique about – a man with vaginitus! How funny – a guy who hates free speech.

          • Your mother had vaginitis when you were born, which accounts for your mental handicap, you low life traitor. You’re a traitor to your country, a worthless piece of shit. You should suffer the faith of a woodpecker, you trailer trash bitch.

          • itsfun

            You are one piece of wok. your filthy mouth shows just how much intelligence you have. Try to show just a little class.

    • latebloomingrandma

      Love it. You are so right!

      • labrown69

        Obama has prosecuted more whistle blowers than law-and-order Republicans
        John Mitchell, Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft.

        2008 – Direct quote; “To build a freer and safer world, we will lead in
        ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. We
        will not ship away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in
        far-off countries, or detain without trial or charge prisoners who can
        and should be brought to justice for their crimes, or maintain a network
        of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law. We will
        respect the time-honored principle of habeas corpus, the seven
        century-old right of individuals to challenge the terms of their own
        detention that was recently reaffirmed by our Supreme Court.” – Barak Obama

        2012 – All discussion of this topic stops. Obama administration
        maintains the use of indefinite detention and makes use of proxy
        detention and rendition and the report by Eric Holder states it as
        official policy.

        Regarding Warrantless Surveillance/Patriot Act:

        2008 – Obama rhetoric constantly reaffirms his support of constitutional
        protections and judicial oversight on any and all surveillance programs
        involving Americans. He rejected and condemned warrantless wiretapping
        under Bush and Obama rejected the use of national security letters to
        spy on citizens who are not suspected of crimes. He rejected the
        tracking of citizens purely because they oppose a current policy.

        2012 – the platform is initially silent on the issue, but then failed to
        reform the PATRIOT act when they had a majority in both house of
        congress. Since that time we have the signing of the NDAA.

        Regarding Racial Profiling –

        2008 – Flatly rejected.

        2012 – retains the FBI’s Bush-era guidelines.

        Regarding Gitmo

        2008 – We will close the detention camp in Guantanamo bay.

        2012 – Um. Yea we’re gonna keep it open and continue using it.

        • latebloomingrandma

          I was responding to charle01’s initial post, not the one about the whistleblowers. But i also find many of Obama’s continuation of Bush policies troubling. But then, we regular people, have no idea what info about the evils of the world the President is privy to.

          • charleo1

            I wanted to respond, just real briefly to your comment
            on how President Obama has continued more of the
            Bush policies, than we thought he would. And, resigned
            the Patriot Act, as is, without comment, or fanfare. I too
            share your concerns. But, the next thing you said, is missed
            by 99% of us. We don’t see, and cannot see, as you
            described it, (“We regular people,) have no idea what info
            about the evils of the world the President is privy to.”
            Gitmo aside. I believe he wants to close it. It seems for
            political reasons, he was blocked. But, speaking about the
            rest of the anti-terror apparatus. The NSA, the electronic
            snooping. The covert listening by computers, set to flag
            certain phrases, coming from particular places, or Countries. The tracking of wire transfers. Plane tickets bought with cash.
            Passengers without luggage. Even the sale of fertilizers,
            when the amount trips a pre-set flag. Cameras observing,
            our every move. So, the concern is understandable.
            If you are a Senator running to be President, you question
            the massive, intrusive, Big Brother, watching, and listening.
            But, if you’re the President. The question becomes, is it
            enough? Will we catch the next plot? What are our allies
            hearing? Have we left something undone? Because, if we
            fail, and there was even one more thing we should have done, and, Americans are harmed, the Country will never
            forgive me. So then, if we’re honest, and we were President.
            What part of that giant, anti- terror machine would we
            start dissembling first?

          • labrown69

            This still does not address why Eric Holder still has a job. How is it possible that a bank doing business in this country admits to laundering money for Al Qaeda while our troops are in harms way and not a single indictment? The guy is a scum bag.

          • charleo1

            Since Eric holder still holds his current job. There
            must be something you’ve missed. Because, if there
            were any grounds for his removal, don’t you suppose
            there are people that would make that happen? For
            example. Why did the bank in question admit to the
            laundering? Who ask them? From where did the money
            come? How was the money made, that caused the need
            for laundering it? Did the bank knowingly launder the
            money? And which Al Qaeda was it? The one in Pakistan?
            Or Yeoman, Or Indonesia, or Libya?

          • labrown69

            You are incredibly naive. They make excuses and fools like you swallow them. The Republicans keep getting loonier and so do the Democrats but fools like you don’t notice because you are married to the name and the party and you are intellectually lazy. Obama didn’t know anything, Holder didn’t know anything, the bank didnt know anything even as they seized the homes of millions of Americans that they had no legal claim to and had never loaned a penny on. If there was a Viagra type product for the American brain everyone would know the answers to those questions. Here, while you are nurturing a hard-on over Hillary listen to an honest woman inform you and other ignoramuses what takes place in your country.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cKTBy7_S_I

          • charleo1

            First of all, you make some very fine points. But you’re
            so crude, and accusatory about doing it. By the time
            anyone finishes reading your comment, that’s if they
            finish, They may have decided you’re just another loony tunes, nut, spouting some conspiracy theories, and
            dismiss you out of hand. And, as a rule I never give advise
            as to how a person expresses their opinion. In your case i made an exception, because the gist of your comment is
            very true. Even after nearly causing a full blown depression,
            these giant financial institutions continue to do as they
            damn well please. And, the legislative record, in putting
            some real teeth behind the laws that regulate the industry,
            where there is the possibility of a CEO, actually going to jail,
            for breaking those laws, is most likely, non-existent. And,
            this is what Senator Warren was getting at. The fellows
            from treasury were essentially saying, no matter what the
            infraction, from our standpoint, it is always a civil matter.
            We may fine the institution, but criminal charges are the
            purview of The Justice Dept. And, this brings us to your
            low opinion of AG Eric Holder. And, I’m not making gratuitous, excuses here, because I’m am so wedded, or
            enthralled by the Democratic Party. But, judging from the
            impotent regulatory regimen imposed on other too big,
            or too powerful, or too politically connected to regulate, entities. It could be Holder hasn’t charged anyone criminally
            at USBC, because there isn’t a law to do that. Or, the
            law as written, requires such a high legal hurtle to be met,
            to criminally charge one person, or a group of people
            within the institution for money laundering, That indeed,
            the best the law has to offer, are the fines already imposed.
            Senator Dick Durban, who along with Congressman, Barney Frank, purposed some measures that would have brought
            more transparency, and ended the explicit, or widely
            understood, backing of these investments being sold,
            by the U.S. Government. But, what they were able to get through Congress, was a watered down, shell of the original bill. When ask why, after the passage of the financial reform bill, which got zero Republican votes, by the way. Why were
            the banks not broken up, and end too big to fail? Durban simply said, “They, (meaning the big Wall Street banks,)
            “Own this place.” “This place,” being the halls of Congress.

          • labrown69

            Charleo – http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/elizabeth-warren-obama-put-bad-banks-trial

            On Tuesday, fierce consumer advocate and needler of banks Sen.
            Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out Wall Street regulators for their
            habit of giving tepid punishments to misbehaving banks, and asked the agencies to justify their policy of settling with the wrongdoers out of court.

            Warren sent a letter
            to the Justice Department, as well as to the Securities and Exchange
            Commission and the Federal Reserve, asking them for evidence on how a
            settlement that doesn’t require a bank to admit guilt would be better
            policy than taking the bad apple to trial. If regulators at least show
            that they are willing to play tough, she argued, it will help deter bad
            behavior and allow regulators to negotiate bigger fines in the event of a
            later settlement.

            Here are a few snippets:

            There is no question that settlements, fines, consent orders, and
            cease and desist orders are important enforcement tools, and that trials
            are expensive…But I believe strongly that if a regulator reveals itself
            to be unwilling to take large financial institutions all the way to
            trial…the regulator has a lot less leverage in settlement negotiations
            and will be forced to settle on terms that are much more favorable to
            the wrongdoer…If large financial institutions can break the law and
            accumulate million in profits, and if they get caught, settle by paying
            out of those profits, they do not have much incentive to follow the law.

          • charleo1

            Who can really argue with that? She is exactly on the mark.
            Is she not? I would sincerely hope she gets the kind of
            public support she deserves on this. I’ll say this, I don’t
            recall ever, anyone with Elizabeth Warren’s crediblity,
            on these issues, Or, her talent to boil these very complex
            issues down, and make them understandable to people
            that can’t balance their checkbook.

          • labrown69

            I apologize if I was crass and I will say we have a consensus here. I voted for Obama twice because the alternative was horrific but I expect the “other guy” to be bad but not so much “my guy”. A Republican can not make me feel betrayed because I never supported him. I am in the real estate business and I have saved people’s homes from foreclosure just by forcing banks to follow existing law. The entire securitization thing is a scam. You can not “sell” something and then claim to still “own it” too. For four years I heard “true believers” tell me, “just wait until his second term and then he will step up to the plate. Well it’s time to pay the piper. As the father of two daughters I care deeply that a woman maintain her reproductive rights and the time is way over due for our LGBT brothers and sisters to have equal rights under the Constitution including the right to marry but the big issue for all of us is the economy and it can not possibly recover EVER until we “admit our problem” and move to correct it. Dodd Frank is better than nothing but we are way beyond rearranging the Titanic’s deck chairs and until we recognize that banking conglomerates have priced these silly fines into the cost of doing business, our middle class will continue to shrink, we will continue on our current course of becoming an ever increasingly lawless nation and a police state and the economy will predictably be increasingly plutocratic until we are stepping over bodies on the sidewalk. In the words of JFK, “those who make peaceful revolution impossible are making violent revolution inevitable” and that is precisely why we are seeing so many bombings, shootings and so much violence generally. I don’t know who said it but he was spot on when he said “you can’t be conservative until you have something to conserve”.

          • Wow. I had to sit down for that one. . . That clears it up for me. labrat is a lesbian. . . OMG! You’re a bull dike! Well, that beats all.

          • labrown69

            I guess I AM “a lesbian” .. I have all the earmarks. I’m attracted to women and I’m not homophobic! LMAO Mr. Robertson, “heckling” is an art and you suck at it.

          • charleo1

            You are correct, of course. It was Chris Dodd, and not
            Dick Durban, that sponsored the financial reform bill.
            And, Dodd that made the comment, “They own this place,”
            The remainder of my comment represents my general,
            opinion, that the financial sector has for a long time, been
            able to essentially write their own laws, and set their own
            limits. And, when the scam starts collapsing, they tell the
            government, hey, if we go down, everybody goes with us.
            So, they get their gambling debts paid. The Country goes
            into recession, millions lose their jobs. But, from their perch,
            that’s great too! Because when unemployment goes up,
            wages go down. And with Uncle Sam handing out free cash,
            they can circle back around, and buy up the assets people
            lost in the turmoil, for a song. And the beautiful part is, for
            them, it’s all kosher. But, I’m just venting here. Because you know all this very well. And, I actually thought, with Bush finally out of there, and a Democratically controlled Congress.
            Well, I admit it. I was naive. I was naive in the sense, that
            Republicans, had held onto Congress for so many years
            there. Through 6 years of Clinton, and 5 with Bush. But,
            what had been hidden by Republican majorities, was the
            undeniable fact, that, Hell, most of the Democrats were
            every bit as sold out to big money special interests, as the
            GOP. That, if not for the Republican Party going stark
            raving stupid, it would have been hard to tell them apart.
            But, I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts, and
            comments. My opinion, you’re spot on these issues. And,
            obviously, you care a great deal about our Country.
            So, keep posting!

          • CLINTON/WARREN 2016!!!!!! FOR AMERICA!!!!!!!!

          • latebloomingrandma

            As I’ve heard it said many times—We have to be right 100% of the time. the terrorists have to be “right” only once.

          • charleo1

            That’s very true. And in my opinion, the kind of gotcha
            politics that follows a terrorist attack, like Benghazi, for
            instance. Actually encourages the terrorist to try to
            strike again. Republicans like Darrell Issa, seem practically
            giddy, over the prospect of using the incident to make
            political hay. A real investigation determines the facts of
            the case. And offers a suggested course of action, to
            prevent the next such attack. What Republicans are
            conducting is not an investigation. It is a political exercise.
            Whereby, the final goal is to produce as many questions
            as possible, primarily by ignoring, or refusing to accept the answers given. Then, calling for more meetings, more panels, more subpoenas. And asking those same answered, questions, over and over, again. I certainly imagine, the terrorist that
            killed Ambassador Stevens, are enjoying the Republican’s show.

    • mike

      Off again on one of your tangents.
      Explain how one of the most top secret cyber attacks, the Stuxnet virus, which only a very small handful of people knew about is still not solved, who leaked the information? David Sanger wrote the origins and operations of this attack, it was like he was in the Situation Room, yet no one has been arrested. Why not?

      Who leaked the Seal team 6 information on Bin Laden within days of the raid, that caused the Pakistani Doctor to be jailed. Again, unsolved.

      How about the Drone attacks and the Obama KIll List. Have they found who leaked them???

      All of the above have one thing in common. A very small group of people knew and yet against the best interest of the American people the information was leaked. Leaks that were damaging to the security of this country. Was it politics over country??
      Whatever the purpose, the leaks appear to be breaches of our national security and a violations of Federal Laws, which raise moral, strategic, and legal issues.

      Obama: “the notion that my white house would purposely leak classified national security information is offensive”. Now that is funny!!!

      Bush never commuted Libby’s conviction.

      • charleo1

        When you figure out what the hell you’re your trying to say.
        Then, get back to me. And, Bush commuted Libby’s jail
        sentence. He damn sure did. But if you’re in anyway
        suggesting G.W. Bush was anything but a fucking moron.
        Or, the Country isn’t better off by miles with Obama as
        President. You’re wasting your time with me.

        • mike

          Oh I know what I have said, you just want to ignore the beach of morality of this administration. Lies, coverups, phone tapping, arrogance that has permeated every level of govt., belligerent when questioned, executive overreach, and more.

          Bush did not pardon Libby, so I give you that. Where are arrests for the 4 national security leaks. Why haven’t the people who performed these Treasonists acts been caught.
          Simply put, Obama doesn’t want them found. He has compromised the security of the country for political reasons only. Shameful!!!

          • charleo1

            What I am ignoring is GOP subterfuge. Leading to what
            is essentially a fault finding mission, to hide their own
            inability to find consensus on anything, but their goal to
            derail, and cause the failure of the Obama Administration.
            No doubt due to the catastrophic failures of the Bush Adm.
            The GOP see as their only possible redemption politically,
            in convincing the public, both Parties are equally bad. One
            hell of a noble goal it is, too isn’t it? I wonder what some
            in the GOP caucus must think? Because there are good
            people on both sides of the isle. Of being a member of a
            Party that is so pathetically dysfunctional, the politics require
            they come to their jobs, and intentionally work aganist the
            best interests of their constituencies back home, and the
            Country. In an attempt to bring down a President, and
            regain political power, and relevancy. When their real
            problem, is advocating policies, they know to be not in the
            best interests of the the people. And, policies, they either won’t, or quite likely can’t change. That the American public,
            flat out disagrees with. Saner heads have cautioned, that
            the hyperbole over these thinly disguised, political witch
            hunts, could hurt the Party’s already badly damaged credibility. That their obvious attempts, pre-election to
            prevent economic recovery, so as to use the economy,
            and unemployment, as a political weapon, have not gone unnoticed. So, with the economy in recovery, in spite of Republicans. There are those advising the Party, to dial
            it back, on the daily inquisitions, and start legislating.
            That their best course for rehabilitating the GOP, is to
            get on with the business of running the Country. Good
            advise. If only they were capable of taking it.

          • mike

            This is the real world not the perfect world you want.

            So you don’t care that a video was used for 2 weeks as the cause of the attack, to cover up the truth. Who approved the talking points? I think the American people have a right to know. You don’t care to know who ordered the stand down, or who kept wanting changes to the original CIA memo within the State Department. Where was the Sixth Fleet and MEU’s that could have been used to protect the personnel.

            You love to bash Bush to hide the fact that your party is/was just as complicit as the right. No party was innocent, it happened to fall on his watch. Two great articles: NYT “Bush can share the blame for financial crisis”. The other aim ” the cause of the 2008 financial crisis”.

            This is Obama mess, the buck stops with him. You can’t hide the truth forever.

            We will wait and see who is right.

          • charleo1

            So, our embassy was attacked in Islamabad, Pakistan
            in 2003. Want to guess why? Might as well, because
            that is exactly what we did. Guessed. Our Embassy
            was attacked in Tanzania with a truck bomb. in 1998.
            Why? Because of some bull shit anniversary date,
            when the American infidel troops set their feet on
            the holy soil of Saudi Arabia in the first gulf war.
            Now, does it sound like I care why Islamist Assholes
            attacked the embassy in Benghazi? Maybe some of the
            T-Party Patriot nut jobs, could hold a meeting with the
            Islam-o/terrorists nut jobs in Benghazi, and ask them
            what the real reason for the attack was. Other than
            we stay at the top of their shit list, for one perceived,
            great insult, or another. Kind of like Obama does with
            the T-Party. Hey, maybe they could find some common
            ground! Are you guys into dominating women? Might be
            an icebreaker. Then, onto the Obama agenda. Either group would do just about anything, to keep him, and America from
            succeeding right now. Okay! I’m telling you, seriously. No
            kidding, if you hadn’t have written, about Benghazi, I
            really hadn’t given it much thought. Or, put much faith in believing anything the murdering scum bags, (I’m talking about the jihadist now, and not the T-Party.) anything
            they said. Because, I just assumed they would say whatever
            is most hurtful to that SOB, that’s raining hell down on them
            with his f’ing drones! FOX NEWS: Was it about the video, or 9/11? TERRORIST: What’s worse for Obama? FOX: definitely 9/11. TERRORIST: Okay, it was definitely, 9/11. What the
            ??? do you expect them to say? The terrorist are helping
            the GOP defeat the Democrats. Somebody over at Fox
            ought to tell them, there’s no chance they are going to get
            George Bush back in the White House again.

  • labrown69

    Even before any of us know how high the surveillance of the AP and the IRS abuses go you are denying that Obama knew anything. Can someone tell me why Eric Holder still has a job? How much stuff can you “not know about” or “find out from the evening news” when you are president before you look like a fool? You people aren’t liberal … you are stupid! How about we find out what happened and who knew about it? Freedom of the press is sort of important. The Patriot Act and the NDAA were basically nothing less than the repeal of the Constitution and a declaration of martial law and yet you people sit around having a circle jerk and saying “duh, what happened”?

    • elw

      Even before any us of know what happen and why you are assuming the President is guilty and Eric Holder should be fired? Please do you know what the word hypocrite means, look in the mirror.

      • labrown69

        Eric Holder should have been fired 5 years ago. He never should have been allowed anywhere near foreclosure fraud after representing these banks at the law firm of Covington and Burling. Five years of Americans losing their homes in fraudulent foreclosures and now we have a bank doing business in America admitting to laundering money for Al Qaeda and Mexican drug cartels and not one indictment from Holder? What exactly does it take for your air heads to overcome your paralysis or have you reached full brain death? On top of all that:

        Obama has prosecuted more whistle blowers than law-and-order Republicans
        John Mitchell, Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft.

        2008 – Direct quote; “To build a freer and safer world, we will lead in
        ways that reflect the decency and aspirations of the American people. We
        will not ship away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in
        far-off countries, or detain without trial or charge prisoners who can
        and should be brought to justice for their crimes, or maintain a network
        of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of the law. We will
        respect the time-honored principle of habeas corpus, the seven
        century-old right of individuals to challenge the terms of their own
        detention that was recently reaffirmed by our Supreme Court.” – Barak Obama

        2012 – All discussion of this topic stops. Obama administration
        maintains the use of indefinite detention and makes use of proxy
        detention and rendition and the report by Eric Holder states it as
        official policy.

        Regarding Warrantless Surveillance/Patriot Act:

        2008 – Obama rhetoric constantly reaffirms his support of constitutional
        protections and judicial oversight on any and all surveillance programs
        involving Americans. He rejected and condemned warrantless wiretapping
        under Bush and Obama rejected the use of national security letters to
        spy on citizens who are not suspected of crimes. He rejected the
        tracking of citizens purely because they oppose a current policy.

        2012 – the platform is initially silent on the issue, but then failed to
        reform the PATRIOT act when they had a majority in both house of
        congress. Since that time we have the signing of the NDAA.

        Regarding Racial Profiling –

        2008 – Flatly rejected.

        2012 – retains the FBI’s Bush-era guidelines.

        Regarding Gitmo

        2008 – We will close the detention camp in Guantanamo bay.

        2012 – Um. Yea we’re gonna keep it open and continue using it.

        • elw

          So the answer is yes.

          • labrown69

            The answer is yes, I know what the word hypocrite means and I also know what idiot means and I think you qualify handily. Obama throws you bones and you bark. Well done sycophant.

  • ORAXX

    The problem is, there will never be any independent third party to determine what is actually a matter of national security versus what the government wants to keep secret to avoid embarrassment.

    • charleo1

      That is one of those conundrums, that will never be answered to
      everyone’s full satisfaction. Where does the Government’s responsibility
      for National security end. And the public’s Right to be informed what
      their Government is doing in their name, begin? The truth is, there are
      no hard, and fast answers. Who would have supported the People’s
      Right to know, just what their Government was up to, in the remote
      hills of Oak Ridge TN. And, just what is this, “Manhattan Project?”
      On the other hand, Daniel Elisberg’s decision to ignore threats of
      imprisonment, made by the U.S. Government. And publish leaked
      information, that became known as, “The Pentagon Papers.” That
      changed the course of the Vietnam War, And, led a beleaguered,
      LBJ, to refuse his Party’s nomination for a second term.

      • I always thought LBJ quit because he killed 58,000 Americans and had little to show for it.

        • charleo1

          That sums it up, in a nutshell.

          • Independent1

            From what I’ve read recently – LBJ wanted to run for a second term so he could setl up the prosecution of Richard Nixon for treason – LBJ had evidence that Nixon had deliberately sabataged the Vietnam peace treaty talks. But when they did some polling prior to the Democratic convention, they found that he didn’t have enough delegate support to get a renomination so he pulled out of consideration. Here’s some excerpts from a recent article in TheEpochTimes:

            LBJ Nixon Treason: Recently declassified recordings of White House phone calls from 1968 show that former President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) knew Richard Nixon sabotaged a peace deal in Vietnam to boost his presidential campaign, which he felt rested on the war.

            Former President Lyndon B. Johnson recorded all his White House telephone conversations, believing a president’s actions should be left to posterity and judged in the full light of day. A batch of tapes were released in 2008, but the final batch of tapes covering 1968 conversations have now been released, adding new evidence on Richard Nixon’s alleged treason.

            South Vietnam mysteriously pulled out of a peace agreement just before Johnson announced it in early November 1968, days before the presidential election. Nixon expressed as much dismay and ignorance as anyone publicly. Nixon’s senior campaign adviser Anna Chennault, however, had told the Vietnamese ambassador to hold out on an agreement until after the elections, at which time Nixon would make a better deal, according to the BBC.

            In a soundbite of the recordings on the BBC’s website, Johnson says: “We have found that our friend, the Republican nominee, our California friend, has been playing on the outskirts with our enemies and our friends both, he has been doing it through rather subterranean sources … Mrs. Chennault is warning the South Vietnamese not to get pulled into this Johnson move [toward peace].”

            The treason has been recounted in Chennault’s memoirs, accounts published by a senior adviser of former South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu, and in former South Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Bui Diem’s memoirs, according to Consortiumnews.com. The treason has, nonetheless, remained in doubt.

          • charleo1

            Yes, I heard that the other day. And, knowing what we
            came to know of Nixon, I don’t believe it surprised anyone.
            Hell, Nixon probably told Ho Chi Minh, if he was elected,
            he was going to pull out of South Vietnam, and open up
            trade talks with China. Just keep pouring it on. My election
            depends on you Ho, and The Chairman.

    • labrown69

      It doesn’t matter anyhow because the Patriot Act and the NDAA were defacto repeals of the Constitution and declarations of martial law. You only have any rights whatsoever if the NSA “says you do”.

  • elw

    I have had enough. The GOP is on a slash and burn path that shows little or no concern for the Country or the long term health of their Party. In their black and white world every little mistake or burp is a scandal. They forget their own past and words that dam what they are screaming about now. The worse thing about their behaviors and silly scandal driven minds is the harm it does on rights of Americans to stand up
    when they see wrong doing by those in power. If every little misstep is a scandal that takes up the National Conversation and the time and energy of the elected members of Congress real scandals, real issues get buried in the yelling. I for one have stopped
    listening, too many of these scandals have turned out to be nothing but something to fill the 24/7 news scripts. I have also turn off cable and network news and refuse to put President Obama’s Presidency in the trash until someone shows me something that is real proof of wrong doing. The other thing I am going to do is not vote for anyone in office now who has not made good effort to stop the foolish behaviors that have made this Congress the “do nothing” winner of all times. No more votes to repeal Obama care – 37 are enough, no more new abortion laws, no more quietly allowing political games that keep Congressional Representatives from voting. I sent you up there to
    work, now work and get something done that will help my life and the life of my children and grandchildren. In the next election, my vote will not go to any party but to the person who shows they care and don’t forget what they have said in the past and are adult enough to represent me.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    I can’t imagine where the GOP Gangsters get their chutzpah…Bush had the most secretive administration is US history and not a peep out of his GOP bullies? Did we know Bush spent $200 billion on an embassy in Baghdad? Did we know he secretly met with Canada’s premier Ralph Klein and all but sealed the Keystone Pipeline deal in 2008? Did we know that he also dumped the 50% of the cost of the 24 year old Exxon Valdez spill fine on taxpayers? You bet we didn’t…when were the GOP planning to tell us this? Right now, they are up to their old tricks…While we are all focused on their trumped up scandals…that Keystone Pipeline is being pushed on Americans who are losing their properties to a foreign country (Canada) to create the right of way for that pipeline…Smell Koch Energy in this yet? Smell that Albertan Canadian and lately Texan Cruz in this yet?

  • The Republicans want it both ways, it can’t be done, only to suit their agenda.

  • daves

    I am a liberal and I think President Obama is doing a pretty good job. That doesn’t mean he gets a pass on these things. I don’t think there was any wrongdoing in Benghazi but what the IRS and the Justice Department did are unforgivable. There isn’t any evidence that President Obama was involved but if it turns out he was then it is essential that he is held accountable so future presidents know it is not acceptable.